Important Poker Impasse: What Should You Do When You Think of Throwing in the Towel?

Several iconic athletes, such as Michael Jordan, Joe Montana, Pele, and Wayne Gretzky, have retired from their respective sports. Even the renowned boxer George Foreman retired after 81 fights and two comebacks.

However, when it comes to quitting poker, there are other aspects to consider besides physical and mental factors that make it different from retiring from a physical sport.

Poker players have numerous reasons for quitting, such as losing interest, pursuing alternative careers or personal goals, or pursuing business opportunities. Some professional players opt to play part-time since it is no longer their primary source of income.

The article delves into the thoughts about quitting poker, which has gained popularity as an alternative career path for some. Although poker can be mentally and emotionally demanding, it can also be highly habit-forming, despite its disadvantages. Furthermore, it offers valuable guidance on recognizing when to give up playing.

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Here are some reasons why some poker players quit

Ultimately, one of the biggest reasons to either go into poker or go out of the poker game for good is the state of their wallets. Some poker players with less money may jump ship to avoid further running their banks into the ground and to play it safe.

On the other hand, those with more money in their banks can still take more risks and keep playing and honing their skills and strategies.

Another good point to consider when money is involved is a player’s motivation. If this is their primary source of income and they’re not doing so hot, there’s a higher chance they’d quit. But if the poker game is only a time filler or a hobby and more of a source of entertainment, then they’ll continue until their enjoyment runs out.

Emotional and mental states can affect a player’s decision-making abilities. For instance, if players feel anxious, stressed, or frustrated, they may quit prematurely to avert losing or making hasty decisions. Additionally, fatigue resulting from long sessions or physical exhaustion can impact focus and concentration, making it difficult for players to make sound decisions.

Since mental health has been getting into the spotlight, more and more people are valuing this even more. Playing at the poker table is very demanding, whether or not people admit it to be. And if a player’s physical or mental state isn’t great, that’s a shot to their confidence and would push them to quit even more.

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Several factors affect a player’s decision to quit the poker game. These include their personality, experience level, and risk tolerance. Bold players may take calculated risks, while cautious ones avoid significant risks.

Despite losing money, novice players may continue playing to try and improve their luck. Experienced players usually have a better understanding of the fluctuations in the game and are likely to quit once they sense that luck is no longer on their side. Every individual has a distinct approach to quitting the game for good.

How can you reevaluate and ultimately make a decision?

According to Annie Duke, a professional poker player, if you frequently think about quitting, you likely should have done it earlier. By this point, the decision to leave has become apparent.

Although you can never be entirely sure about any life decision, most people who quit ultimately feel they made the right choice and are happier. If you’re currently unhappy in your job and choose to continue for a few more years, consider the opportunity costs involved – that time could have been spent pursuing a better path.

The primary cause for quitting poker is typically the loss of money. Since the game’s objective is to come out ahead, a string of poor outcomes may lead players to contemplate giving up. The reasons for losing, though, will differ from person to person, making it tough to generalize. However, it is prudent to take a break if a prolonged period of loss is experienced.

To better understand why you are losing in poker, it is essential to approach the situation objectively and be honest with yourself. Seek input from experienced poker players to gain insight.

Determine if your losses are due to bad luck or other factors, such as playing at a higher skill level or managing too many tables simultaneously. Consider analyzing the situation, like telling your friend whether they should quit poker.

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Suppose you’re considering quitting playing poker or taking a break. During this break, try to enjoy yourself and not dwell on the negative aspects of poker. This helps keep your mind focused on poker so you won’t be rusty when you decide to play again. Taking a rest period of two to four weeks is recommended before returning to the game.


Quitting holding poker cards should always be a conscious decision since it may result in regret later. Take the time to assess your skill level and decide whether or not you are still enjoying poker or if you think it’s time to move on to something else. Ultimately, every player must balance their dedication and focus as a professional and their enjoyment of the games they have chosen.

It’s all about deciding when enough is enough, so don’t hesitate to take a break if that feels like what you need. Poker is a fantastic activity, but knowing how to step back and take some time away from it can be just as important.